Hawaii Bar Exam

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Hawaii State Bar Association

Hawaii Supreme Court Board of Bar Examiners

417 South King Street
Honolulu, HI 96813
Telephone (808) 539-4907

Website: www.courts.state.hi.us


The Hawaii Bar Exam is a 2 day exam.

Day 1: four-hour morning session and a three-hour afternoon session. In the morning, examinees are required to answer seven Multi-state Essay Exam (MEE) questions and a quiz on the Hawaii Rules of Professional Conduct (HRPC). In the afternoon, examinees are required to answer two 90-minute Multistate Performance Test (MPT) questions.

Day 2: Multistate Bar Exam (MBE), a 200-question, multiple-choice exam.


MBE Subjects: 

  • Constitutional Law
  • Contracts/Sales
  • Criminal Law/Procedure
  • Evidence
  • Real Property
  • Torts

MEE/Hawaii Essay Subjects:

  • Agency
  • Commercial Paper (Negotiable Instruments)
  • Conflict of Laws
  • Corporations
  • Decedents’ Estates
  • Family Law
  • Federal Civil Procedure
  • HI Rules of Professional Conduct
  • Partnerships
  • Sales
  • Secured Transactions
  • Trusts & Future Interests

Multistate Performance Test: 

“Closed universe” practical problem using instructions, factual data, cases, statutes and other reference material supplied by examiners.


The Hawaii Bar Exam is administered on the last Tuesday and Wednesday in February and July.

2014 Winter:  February 25 and 26

2014 Summer: July 29 and 30


Application must be filed at least 90 days prior to exam. No late filing allowed.

Exam fee: $300 plus cost of NCBE character report.


Take Appropriate Steps To Ensure Timely Delivery: Your application is one of thousands that will be sent to the same office address. Use Certified Mail with Return Receipt Requested or other appropriate verifiable means (e.g., FedEx, UPS) when sending all correspondence to the bar examiners so that you have proof regarding when your application was postmarked, when it arrived and who received it.  Check with the state bar examiner’s office before sending your application regarding what types of delivery they will accept.

Payment:  Application fees are generally non-refundable. Verify acceptable forms of payment with your state (i.e., no personal checks).  If you apply to take the bar exam, pay all fees and subsequently withdraw, you must contact the Bar Examiners. You may have to submit a new application, a new filing fee and new copies of related documents in order to sit for the exam at a future date.

Employment History:  Many states’ bar applications require information regarding your past employment since the age of 18 (i.e., name and address of employer, reason for leaving). Begin compiling a list of employers and their current addresses so that you have this information for your application.

Character References:  Many states’ bar applications require a list of persons who can attest to your good character. Begin compiling a list of non-relatives who have known you for at least two (2) years who can vouch for your integrity.

Driver Abstracts:  Some bar applications require you to produce a Driver’s Abstract from all states in which you were licenced to drive. Contact the Division of Motor Vehicles in each state and request the most complete abstract of your driving record that is available.

Fingerprints:  In some states you must submit your fingerprints on a special card with your exam application.   Have your fingerprints rolled by a professional law enforcement officer onto the forms provided by the bar examiners.


MBE (weighted 1/2) and essay scores (weighted 1/2) are combined for overall passing score. Grading policies are determined by the Committee of Bar Examiners and specific inquiries concerning grading should be addressed to the Supreme Court Clerk’s Office. Results are generally released in early May for February exam and early October for July exam.


Admission on Motion: Hawaii does not provide for admission on motion. Examination is required of all applicants.

Acceptance of MBE Score: Hawaii does not accept an MBE score from an exam taken in another jurisdiction.

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